DANCERS that live nearly 1,500 miles apart united on stage in a special dance routine to cement their relationship.
Dansworks Dance Academy , based in Alma Street, Bacup, and Dance College Studios based in Silema, Malta, formed a link in 2014.
Principal at Dansworks Karen Roe and her husband business manager Dale Connearn initially visited Malta to see if the two schools could work together.
Karen said: “Although we teach different disciplines, we found that we had a similar ethos and we all got on very well.
“They first visited us in 2014 and joined us at our annual show and we returned in July to perform at their show.”
The nine students arrived from Malta on Thursday and joined the 10 Dansworks students to perform a joint routine together for the first time at Saturday’s dress rehearsal before Sunday’s annual Dansworks’ Show. (March 20).
They jointly danced to Sweet Loving and shared videos over Facebook so both groups of students knew how the dances would co-ordinate, before they met.
Karen said: “They had their own section and we had ours and then the dancers came together on stage in for a section of the dance that was choreographed by Maltese dance teacher Amy Spiteri and Principal Kim Schembri.”
The trip to England was popular with the Maltese dancers and several were making a return visit.
Director Louis Spiteri said: “Friendships have developed between the dancers and they keep in contact through Facebook and other social media.
“It is very good to have this relationship and the dancers will all be performing the same routine together when they visit for our two-day dance show.
“When the dancers are together in the show it gives a boost to the atmosphere of the show itself, it is also a boost for business and for the dance schools.”
Dansworks was founded in 2008 and has been holding shows since it moved into the Pioneer Buildings in 2010.
In July, 10 students from Dansworks aged 12-16 from schools across the Valley will be travelling to Malta for a five-day visit when they will perform in the Dance College Studios show.
A series of fund-raising events have been held to offset the cost of the trip including a concert with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at The Riverside, Whitworth, bag packing and collecting.
Karen added: “Our Annual Show at Burnley Mechanics involved 200 dancers performing everything from tap and street dance to ballet and musical theatre.
“We sold all the 500 tickets to watch the performance and it was extra special for me because my granddaughter Scarlett, who is only three, took part in her first show.
“The combined dance with the Maltese students was the finale of the second half and was a huge success.”
Dansworks has a packed programme of classes and for more information check out the website www.dansworks.co.uk or call 01706 559671.